A good part­ner or ‘MAAMA MAN’?

Push the door, I’m home at last and I’m soak­ing through and through then you handed me a towel and all I see is you and even if my house falls down now, I wouldn’t have a clue be­cause you’re near me and I want to thank you for giv­ing me the best day of my

Jamaica Gleaner - - FAMILY & RELIGION - Ce­celia Camp­bell Liv­ingston Gleaner Writer fam­ilyan­dreli­gion@glean­erjm.com

WHILE HIS wife is at work, he stays home, cooks, cleans, and washes. When she gets home, he has a warm meal pre­pared for her and the chil­dren are clean and well taken care of. He even has time to give her a foot rub. She foots the bills as he is un­em­ployed and the prospects seem dim at the mo­ment. Her friends think she is a fool and dis­re­spect her hus­band by call­ing him a ‘maama man’.

The above sce­nario is what some women in Ja­maica are liv­ing in. Un­for­tu­nately, so­ci­ety thinks women like these should throw in the towel and get a part­ner who can sup­port them fi­nan­cially.

Fam­ily and Re­li­gion reached out to Evan­ge­list Er­rol Rat­tray, who is en­cour­ag­ing women who have un­em­ployed men in their lives to em­brace the solid sup­port they have been re­ceiv­ing.

“We live in a so­ci­ety where there are neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tions to a very good man who stands by you, helps you, goes to the mar­ket, washes, cooks, and takes care of the home. But is he re­ally a ‘maama’ or a re­spon­si­ble man? What he is do­ing is exercising love. He is show­ing love and care,” points out Rat­tray.

DO SOME HOUSE­WORK, MEN

For Rat­tray, even men who come home be­fore their part­ners should try and en­sure they are the ones who pre­pare the meal and take care of the chil­dren if there are any in the union.

“Some women are earn­ing more money and work­ing longer hours than their part­ners. There are some who even leave work to at­tend school in fur­ther­ing their ed­u­ca­tion. When they get home, they are dead beat,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to him, it is a hus­band who lacks un­der­stand­ing and who doesn’t care who would al­low his wife to come home and face the kitchen when he has been home for quite a while.

“If he is un­em­ployed, he should not be wait­ing on the woman to come home af­ter a long day to go into the kitchen or help the kids with home­work and all that,” stressed Rat­tray.

Be­ing un­em­ployed for the evan­ge­list does not mean he can­not play his part by tak­ing his re­spon­si­bil­i­ties se­ri­ously.

“I know that there are per­sons who will er­ro­neously think that man is un­der woman man­age­ment or that a woman is run­ning his show,” said Rat­tray.

But from a bib­li­cal per­spec­tive, Rat­tray said that God re­quires the man to be the leader of the fam­ily and it doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean that he has to be mak­ing more money.

“A man tak­ing the role in what­ever area of the chores in the home, I feel, not­with­stand­ing, a man must be the pro­tec­tor. He needs to also pro­vide a pos­i­tive in­flu­ence and a lead­er­ship ex­am­ple,” he said.

For the evan­ge­list, it is time that so­ci­ety steps away from the ‘man role, woman role’. As for him, women have now suc­cess­fully taken on jobs that were once deemed solely for men.

“They are climb­ing Ja­maica Pub­lic Ser­vice poles, driv­ing trail­ers ... you name it. So if a man does house­work, more power to him,” he said.

“Is there any­thing wrong in buy­ing the food you are go­ing to eat? Any­thing wrong in wash­ing the plates you eat­ing out of?” he con­tin­ued.

The most im­por­tant thing in any union, ac­cord­ing to Rat­tray, is that the man is lov­ing his woman and treat­ing her with re­spect.

“I have to com­mend the men who, in spite of not work­ing or mak­ing as much, sink their pride and give their wives full sup­port.”

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